The Biden Administration, in collaboration with some of America’s biggest private companies, announced a series of initiatives to address the country’s cybersecurity problems over the last few years. This is a progressive step towards better cybersecurity and data protection, in the light of high profile cases like the Kaseya attack and the infamous Colonial Pipeline incident.
The initiatives will be released after a White House summit between President Joe Biden’s national security team, the senior administrative officials, and chief executives from large tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, among many others happening today. These initiatives will focus on important aspects such as workforce training and the protection of critical infrastructure. News of this summit first came to light in an announcement by White House press secretary Jen Psaki on July 21st, 2021.
Only last month, President Biden issued a national security memorandum that directed federal agencies to develop voluntary cybersecurity goals for companies that operate critical infrastructure in the US, like Colonial Pipeline and JBS.
Biden Administration – post-summit announcements
According to the latest White House press release, the objective of today’s summit with leaders from the private sector was to bolster the nation’s cybersecurity, both individually and collaboratively. Several new initiatives and commitments were announced including:
- The Biden Administration announced the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to collaborate with all partners to develop a framework to constantly improve the security and integrity of the technology supply chain.
- They also announced the formal expansion of the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity initiative to the natural gas pipeline sector.
- Apple announced that it will establish a new program to drive continuous security improvements throughout the technology supply chain. This includes the adoption of multi-factor authentication, security training, vulnerability remediation, and incident response.
- Google will invest $10 billion over the next 5 years to help secure the software supply chain, expand zero-trust programs, and enhance open-source security.
- IBM announced it will train 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over the next three years, and will partner with more than 20 Historically Black Colleges & Universities to establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers to grow a more diverse cyber workforce.
- Microsoft announced it will invest $20 billion over the next 5 years to accelerate efforts to integrate cyber security by design and deliver advanced security solutions. Microsoft also announced it will immediately make available $150 million in technical services to help federal, state, and local governments with upgrading security protection
- Amazon announced it will make available to the public at no charge the security awareness training it offers its employees.
- Resilience, a cyber insurance provider, announced it will require policy holders to meet a threshold of cybersecurity best practice as a condition of receiving coverage.
- Coalition, a cyber insurance provider, announced it will make its cybersecurity risk assessment & continuous monitoring platform available for free to any organization.
- Code.org announced it will teach cybersecurity concepts to over 3 million students across 35,000 classrooms over 3 years.
- Girls Who Code announced it will establish a micro credentialing program for historically excluded groups in technology.
- University of Texas System announced it will expand existing and develop new short-term credentials in cyber-related fields to strengthen America’s cybersecurity workforce.
- Whatcom Community College announced it has been designated the new NSF Advanced Technological Education National Cybersecurity Center, and will provide cybersecurity education and training to faculty and support program development for colleges to “fast-track” students from college to career.